What: A 4-day, 3-night wizard college experience where you play an elite mage attending the Magimundi’s Ivy League Institution: Imperial Magischola
When: September 10-13, 2020
Where: Mansions on Fifth, Pittsburgh, PA
Price: $695 for the theatrical experience, a complete staff of writers, scene designers, costumers, lighting and sound designers, props, professional makeup and photography, a customized character written just for you, and a storyline you can affect for the next two years. Plus, you’ll have gourmet, chef-prepared catered meals from Thursday dinner to Sunday breakfast. Lodging is booked separately through Mansions on Fifth at group rates. Selected participants may be chosen for an Embedded Role, which is a full-character with more specific plot requirements and roles in the story.
Who: Open to anyone ages 18+ No theatrical experience needed.
What You Will Do:
- Become a part of the story by portraying a student or faculty member at Imperial Magischola as it enters a new age using a collaborative, customized character provided for you by our writing team.
- Uncover secrets and hidden artifacts on the Imperial grounds
- Participate in stories and plots particular to your Court.
- Attend or deliver lectures on Magical Subjects.
- Be a member of one of Imperial’s Four Courts of Knowledge
- Be initiated in a Secret Society.
- Use magic to change the world (for better or worse)
- Set yourself up for future success in your career and place in Magimundi upper society.
Note: This is Year 2 of a three-year plot arc. You do NOT need to have attended Year 1 to sign up. All characters will have a new beginning for the new year, and everyone will receive a written recap of year 1’s story. Each chapter is its own story that stands alone but plays a part in a trilogy.
You have been called to lead.
Imperial Magischola is open to all participants who are age 18 by the date of the event. There is no upper age limit, and we have players of all ages. Participants portray roles as college students or school faculty and staff. For younger players in middle and high school, Magischola Prep is available.
What if I’ve never done this before?
This event is designed for you! We have designed this experience to be easy-to-learn and open to everyone. There are no complicated statistics, character build points, or experience levels. Instead, it focuses on relationships, immersion, and story.
There is no physical combat in this game. Spell-casting and play techniques will be taught in workshops prior to the event, and each player will have access to a character coach to help you flesh out the character concept you are given by the organizers. You’ll also be part of player groups to help you prepare prior to the event.
September 10-13, 2020
Participants may check-in between noon and 2:00 pm on Thursday the 10th. Check out is at noon on Sunday. The game starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday evening and runs through Saturday night. Sunday morning is for wrap-up and debriefs.
Imperial Magischola will be held at the beautiful and historic Mansions on 5th Luxury Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This 20,000 square foot mansion, along with an adjacent 8,000 square foot “guest house” will be our primary play space for the event.
In addition to parlors, basements, game rooms, and other common spaces, the site has 22 rooms that participants can book at a substantially reduced cost to stay and play on site.
Imperial Magischola is open to up to 80 participants, ages 18+. The experience is conducted in English.
The event has two days of magical classes, and intrigue. It does *not* look like Hogwarts. There is not a “sorting ceremony” or a House Cup. Think more Brakebills or Dr. Strange.
What is included with my ticket?
Eight high-end catered meals (Thursday dinner, breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday and Saturday, and breakfast Sunday); a staff of event organizers and writers; a Court tie; a custom-written character and character coach; set design and production; costume design and production; lighting and sound design and production; custom-designed workshops for before and after the event; site rental and insurance; props and consumable ingredients used in your three days of wizard school.
When will tickets be available?
Tickets are on sale now and will remain on sale until they are sold out.
Is there a payment plan?
Your payment can be broken into monthly installments. A $200 deposit is required to reserve your spot, and you may pay in full within three days later or select the monthly payment plan for a 5% fee. All balances must be paid in full 60 days prior to the event start, or June 10, 2020.
What is the ticket refund policy?
Tickets are non-refundable. If you cannot attend, you may sell your ticket to another party. Contact us with the person’s information and assurance that your sale has been satisfactorily completed and we will work with the purchaser to get onboard.
Unless you are selected for an Embedded Role, tickets do NOT include lodging at the Mansions on 5th. All rooms at the Mansions on 5th have been reserved for our group and are discounted for our participants. By contract, we must fill all rooms at the venue to host the event.
There are 20 rooms available for participants to book at Mansions on Fifth. Some of these rooms have queen-sized beds, some have king beds, some have king plus a pull-out couch, some have queen plus a pull-out couch. All are oversized and historic, with fireplaces in many, as well as upgraded linens and bedding, private bathrooms, some with jetted tubs. All rooms have space for air mattresses, cots or rollaways, should you prefer to add folks to your room.
We elected to decouple housing from the ticket price so that participants could have flexibility in their costs and privacy. If you are local or have friends in the area, you may stay off-site.
Group Rate Room Pricing is as follows:
- Standard Queen (one queen bed; either in mansion or guest house): $125 per night
- Standard King (one king bed; either in mansion or guest house) $145 per night
- Standard Suite (one queen bed, one oversized twin pull-out) $175 per night
- Deluxe Suite (one king bed, queen-sized pull-out; separate sleeping area) $225 per night
Participants will stay 3 nights from Thursday to Sunday. You can see more about the rooms here (and how favorable our negotiated rates are).
Participants can elect to arrange nearby housing off-site, though housing at other hotels will not have the benefit of our negotiated rate and it looks like a tough price to beat for hotels in the vicinity.
To book your room, call (412)-381-5105 and state that you are booking for the Learn Larp event on September 10-13 and they should give you the negotiated rate.
You’ll have three meals a day from dinner on Thursday evening to breakfast on Sunday morning. Meals will accommodate vegetarian and vegan food options. Specific food allergies can also be accommodated. Indicate your dietary needs on your logistics registration form.
Mansions on Fifth has a fully-staffed bar if your character needs a cocktail. All alcohol consumed in public spaces on site must be purchased from the hotel. Rooms do not have refrigerators.
Mansions on Fifth and the Amberson House both have handicapped-accessible entrances. The main Mansion has an elevator that travels from the basement to the second floor. The third floor of the mansion and the second and third floors of the adjacent Amberson house will not be accessible without stairs. However, no scheduled scenes or gameplay will take place in those areas. They are rooms for sleeping only and will be assigned to those who do not require accessible accommodations.
Certain rooms will use low-light levels. We do not use strobe lights in our productions.
All gameplay takes place inside the mansion, the adjacent Amberson house, and the surrounding parking area. Meals are taken in the main Mansion. There is no walking required.
Large-print versions of many texts can be produced upon request.
You cannot bring children to Imperial Magischola. We want your full focus on the game. (Certain exceptions for nursing mothers may be made on a case-by-case basis.)
Tickets for Imperial Magischola are $695. Lodging at Mansions on Fifth is booked separately.
Please remember that workshops are mandatory in LearnLarp games. If you are late arriving, we will hold make-up workshops to go over safety techniques and how to play before you step into game. Workshops are an integral part of the experience and help you establish relationships and bonds with other players and characters. They help you have an excellent time at Imperial and to meet your character (and player) goals for the event. Please don’t shortchange your experience by discounting workshops!
Immersion & Off-Game Items
Because we are trying to make the best magical immersive experience for everyone, we ask that you not use branded items or off-game items in in-game spaces. This would include cans of soda or bottles of another drink, mobile phones and laptops, etc.
Wi-Fi on site
There is free Wi-Fi readily available at Mansions on Fifth.
Photography & Videography
We will have one or more professional photographers and videographers at each event. Photos will be distributed free to participants and each event will be well-documented, including school pictures of each student.
We ask that you do not photograph or video the event yourself. This violates other people’s privacy and is against our Conduct Guidelines. You may, of course, take photos and selfies in your dorm room. If you want to take a picture with someone else in these private spaces, ask first! Under no circumstances should anyone be taking photos or videos with hidden cameras of any kind.
Members of the media who attend have received permission from the Organizers to photograph or take video, and they comply with guidelines about privacy and quality.
If you ever see one of our photographers approaching and you don’t want to be photographed, simply use the Lookdown sign (we will teach this in workshops) and the photographer will either not take your picture or we will not use that picture in the albums.
Travel and Accommodations
What time should we arrive at the event?
You should plan to arrive on campus for check-in between Noon and 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, 2020. The event begins with mandatory workshops at 2 p.m. and ends Sunday at noon with checkout.
What is the nearest airport or train station?
Pittsburgh International Airport is about 45 mins from the site. There is public transportation from the airport to downtown Pittsburgh. The 28X airport bus will take you from the lower terminal directly to the site. The bus trip is 1 hour and 20 mins and buses leave every half-hour.
Will you provide a shuttle from the airport or train station?
Since our participants arrive from so many places and often are driving, we do not provide a shuttle from a specific location. Most of the time, players group up with others who are arriving at the same location and carpool or rideshare. You can
Can players pay to stay an additional night?
Yes, you will make your own lodging choices and book directly with the Mansions on Fifth. We have negotiated the reduced price rates listed above from Wednesday, September 9 through Monday, September 14th. Feel free to add an additional night on the front or back end of your stay.
Will players be allowed to park at Mansions on Fifth?
Yes. Parking is provided free of charge to those staying overnight on site.
Rules and Regulations
Is there a code of conduct?
Yes. Please review our Code of Conduct.
How will you handle harassment?
Like Comic Con, Gen Con, and others, NWM does not tolerate any harassment of any kind. Harassment is part of our Code of Conduct. Players are expected to abide by the conduct standard during the event, and in event-related online spaces. Those who violate the Code of Conduct will receive a sanction that may range from a verbal warning to expulsion from the event, at the organizers’ discretion, as is the case with most major conventions.
Will there be photography or filming of the event?
We will have a professional photographer on site at the event. We then release the edited photo collection for our players to view and to share with your friends and family. We may have a videographer on site during the event as well. We use this footage for our marketing materials and website. Players will be asked to sign a photography release form.
Can I vlog or make my own documentation during the event?
You have permission to film yourself, and others that consent to participate in your documentation, with the understanding that it will be done so in a way that’s not disruptive to others’ experience. You may not record film or take photographs during any part of the event where you may accidentally photograph or film unwilling individuals — such as in classrooms during class, or during our graduation or house drafting ceremonies. You may take photos or record film in your room if your roommate is ok with it. Always check with everyone that may be involved with the film or pictures if they agree to be included.
How are characters created?
Players will be asked about their preferences for what type of character they want to play. year, house, and major, and organizers will do their best to give players their choices. You will receive a character concept with a character last name, first initial, former school, year, path, house, and heritage. It will also include a basic backstory, some questions about motivation for the player to consider, and some suggestions for goals and relationships. Players will also have access to character coaches, who will help them build on this character concept to take ownership of it and to turn it into their own fully formed character. Major changes to the character need to be cleared with the organizers to ensure that another person’s game is not affected. Characters are not based on attributes, skills, levels, or categories, and there are no points or builds to use or exhaust.
What kind of costuming should I bring?
Imperial Magischola has a dress code and upholds societal decorum fiercely. You are at a finishing school as much as a magical college. If you are playing a student, your basic outfit (irrespective of gender) includes:
- A white, button-down, collared shirt
- Your Court tie
- A jacket or blazer (we will give you a school patch to apply). You choose the color (or pattern) of your jacket, though dark is more formal and traditional. Callimachus Court members have a flair for the dramatic.
- Dress pants + belt or a skirt (dark colors).
- Socks or tights/leggings (dark colors)
- Dress shoes (no tennis shoes)
- A wizard hat
- A vest or waistcoat
Once classes are over for the day, you may change into your “evening wear” which may include dressing up for dinner or parading about in your smoking jacket or silk robes. It is also fine to stay in your uniform at all times.
Professors are representing the school and should dress the part.